My other half confesses forgetting sometimes what my race is. I must admit I myself lose sight of the fact that my eye slant, bone structure and skin color shout “Asian” in its entire splendor. Good or bad? I guess it depends.
Needless to say, I’m proud of my racial, cultural and historical background. And, yet, sometimes I feel warm and fuzzy just being lost in a crowd of sorts, as when everyone around you screams his or her own unique individuality and yet meld altogether in this grand mosaic of humanity. (Okay, so I’m walking around Grand Central Terminal contemplating grand thoughts. And, no, I don’t smoke weed!)
On a day-to-day basis, I do get such bursts of a moment, and I love it. Luckily, I live and work in quite a racially diverse neighborhood. Elsewhere however—well, let me put it this way—such bursts sometimes take on a lighter flavor.
Seated by the window in a tourist bus that slows down in a very rural town in Ireland, this attentive tourist becomes both the observer and the observed. A little boy caught this distinct face glaring out from that window, quickly recreates a classic Bruce Lee stance for my observing pleasure. “Hiyaah!”
At a Bangkok street corner, a petite young Thai lady offers her assistance. This distressed tourist couple obviously finds much difficulty in deciphering the local tourist site directions. Ignoring me, the Thai lady first starts talking to the “White One” in her difficult but passable English. Once I speak in turn without the Thai accent, her face turns to me, brightens up in apparent awe and amusement, and exclaims, “Oh, I thought you Thai people.”